Travertine Shower Basics

A close up on travertine.

A bathroom remodel is not complete without the addition of a travertine shower. Most often used on walls, or floors, travertine tiles add a decorative touch to any shower.

Beautiful but High Maintenance

Travertine tiles are natural stone tiles that are incredibly beautiful, but are also very high maintenance. In fact, many homeowners say they have a love/hate relationship with their travertine shower. They love the beauty, but they spend a lot of time making sure that it is maintained correctly. When it is maintained correctly, travertine can last for more than 30 years and still retain its incredible shine and beauty.

Remodeling to a Travertine Shower

The first step to a travertine shower is to remove the old tile that is currently in the shower. Use a chisel and hammer and carefully remove the grout around the tile. You can then remove a few pieces of tile without the whole thing coming out and creating a mess or causing injury. Continue removing the old tile a few pieces at a time until the wall is clear of any old tile.

Clean Substrate

Easily scrape off the remaining grout and mortar on the substrate. Do this carefully with the utility knife or chisel. Wipe down with a moist sponge to get rid of any dirt and debris left on the wall. Take your time with this operation. Travertine is a very soft stone tile. Any pressure from underneath because of debris can cause it to split and break.

Install New Tile

Use a trowel to add thinset mortar onto the wall and onto the back of a travertine tile. Make sure this piece is level and straight. Use spacers to keep even spacing in between tiles and continue until the shower is completed.

Grout and Clean

Once the mortar has dried, apply grout to the tiles applying in an even manner. Using a curved edge, run it over the grout lines to create a simple decorative element and smooth them out. With a moist sponge, clean off the excess grout from the tile.

Seal Travertine Shower

Travertine is a natural stone that is porous and can trap water. Seal the tile with a special sealant and keep dry after your shower. Do not let any standing water settle on the shower.

Travertine Shower Maintenance

In order to keep your travertine shower free of any maintenance worries, continually monitor the tiles. Keep any soap that contains citrus, acids, or anything abrasive in them out of the shower area. They can stain the tile and scratch it easily. Never clean the tile with anything abrasive and only use a warm water and soap combination.